Standing desks, treadmill desks and other innovative, non-traditional workstations can help alleviate the health risks of prolonged sitting, according to HR Magazine.
The article cited “a growing body of medical research showing that sitting all day at work—something millions of people do—can be bad for workers’ health. Hazards include increased risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and impaired cognitive ability.”
Humana’s Tim State, Vice President, Associate Health and Well-being, spoke to the reporter about the importance of getting people out of their chairs. Humana offers treadmill desks in 43 of its 52 larger facilities, and 10 of the locations have sit/stand desks. “The idea is movement in the workplace and making that easy and attractive,” Tim said.
“Humana introduced the sit/stand desks eight years ago and the treadmill stations in 2010,” the article said. “It has also pushed other health initiatives, which makes it hard to separate out the impact of active workstations alone. But employee engagement scores are up and retention has been boosted by the company’s commitment to workers’ well-being, State says. And employee health risks for chronic conditions have dropped 42 percent since 2012, as measured by metrics like blood pressure, glucose levels and body mass index.”
But furniture alone isn’t the answer, Tim said. “It takes leadership, commitment, a reflection in values and embedding in the culture.”